Clinical Volunteering Experience (How much is enough?)

Do I need more hospital volunteering?

  • Yeah, suck it up and do more

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • No???

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • This is the cool answer

    Votes: 11 78.6%

  • Total voters
    14

aklvkk

C&H85
7+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2013
76
74
P-town
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone,

Last semester, I completed 108 hours of hospital volunteering for credit through my college and a local hospital (~8 hours/week).
I appreciated the experience and I gained a sense of what a profession in medicine would be like.
However, the volunteering was rather mundane, as I was assigned a section/floor that was notorious for being "boring" to volunteers (i.e. the only duty was filling patients' water pitchers... interacting with pts was insightful but because my responsibility was so limited it became a little boring).

I would rather not volunteer at the hospital again, as I would like to use that time/credit to do something else like taking a class or volunteering somewhere else in the community for credit. (I say for credit because if I volunteer for academic credit, my college arranges and pays for transportation, which is incredibly convenient/practical.)

My question is, would 108 hours of clinical volunteering (at a hospital) look weak on my application?

I intend on volunteering as an EMT (recently certified) in my school, which has a student-run EMS organization. It would take about ~200 hours per academic year. I was wondering if that could also account for some clinical volunteering. To be completely honest though, it mostly consists of calls from intoxicated students.

Hours by themselves are superficial, but I just want to make sure I'm up to par. Should I suck it up and do a couple more semesters of volunteering?
 

gothicfoxes

MD & MPH goals
Jun 17, 2015
161
131
Bodymore Murdaland
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Out of curiosity: have you asked your supervisor if you could be assigned other tasks? Perhaps they don't know your interest in doing something more. You want to gain something from your time at the hospital, and it looks like you're not getting anything out of refilling water pitchers (and I don't blame you). x
 
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Apr 2, 2015
364
391
30
Topeka, Kansas
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
108 hours is probably good for one experience. 200 hours as an EMT would provide variety I think. Its not like it really matters what you're actually doing since you're just gonna BS it if they ask. Volunteering at hospitals is mind numbing almost anywhere. If you need an experience to be most meaningful, i'm sure there could be some conveniently placed old woman you interacted with in the hospital who taught you the value of [insert moral here] or some tragic (unverifiable due to HIPAA) story where you learned about the fragility of life as an EMT.
 
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aklvkk

C&H85
7+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2013
76
74
P-town
Status
Pre-Medical
I think because of legal liabilities we're limited in what we can do as volunteers. There are other volunteer positions at the hospital though, which include clerical positions. Some other floors seem to add a little more flavor by allowing volunteers to change bedsheets as well.

LOL @wasteofspace323 that's true. I do have a couple of particularly compelling experiences during my time volunteering at the hospital thanks to talking with some patients there, but there was just a lot of downtime.

I'm really happy to volunteer in college since I've never been able to in my hometown due to financial/domestic reasons. It's just been a little underwhelming.

I'm feeling conflicted because I've read somewhere on SDN that applicants should aim for 200+ hours of hospital volunteering, but I don't know if that claim has any merit.
 

ac62994

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
170
144
Status
Pre-Medical
You're moving on/moving up. Perfectly fine.

And those 200+ hours you're referring to are the total hours of clinical experience, which is not limited to hospital volunteering. Your EMT volunteering will count towards that.
 
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aklvkk

C&H85
7+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2013
76
74
P-town
Status
Pre-Medical
Wow okay that's a relief. Thank you everyone for your input! I'll probably focus on EMT volunteering from now.
 

gothicfoxes

MD & MPH goals
Jun 17, 2015
161
131
Bodymore Murdaland
Status
Other Health Professions Student
I think because of legal liabilities we're limited in what we can do as volunteers. There are other volunteer positions at the hospital though, which include clerical positions. Some other floors seem to add a little more flavor by allowing volunteers to change bedsheets as well.
Then maybe it's time to move on. Definitely do some EMT volunteering, and look into getting involved with the Red Cross, and some non-clinical organizations. Good luck! x
 
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